BALTIMORE– At 8-18 on the road this season, the Mets needed to inch towards the .500 mark, and they were at the perfect place to do so.

In Baltimore, the team with the worst record in the American League at 17-44, the Mets took care of business behind knuckleballer R. A. Dickey, who improved to 4-0 on the season.

It started off well for the Mets against right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, the Orioles’ best starter. Jose Reyes, on his 27th birthday, led off the game with a double off the left field wall. After Angel Pagan moved him to third on an advancing groundout, David Wright, moved up to third in the order, singled in the run.

Meanwhile, R. A. Dickey was on the mound, making his fifth start of the season, and his knuckler was flat out nasty. It had such movement that not only could the Orioles not hit it, but catcher Rod Barajas couldn’t catch it.

Dickey got into trouble all night long, but he barely allowed anything.

The most trouble he got into was in the fourth inning. The Orioles loaded the bases with no outs on two singles and a walk. Being they’re so bad, they couldn’t come through. Luke Scott and Adam Jones both struck out, and Matt Wieters popped out to third.

That trouble followed a three-run home run from designated hitter Chris Carter in the top of the inning. Carter launched his first career home run, extending the Mets’ lead to 4-0.

The Orioles had their leadoff hitter reach base in the fourth through eighth innings. The only run they scored was in the seventh against Dickey, with two outs, when Rod Barajas couldn’t handle a knuckleball and it got to the backstop.

The Orioles got one run off Dickey in seven innings, as Dickey has gone six-plus innings in each of his first five starts.

The Mets added a run in the eighth on a David Wright RBI double, his third hit and second RBI of the game. That made it 5-1, and Pedro Feliciano and Francisco Rodriguez pitched the final two innings to preserve the Mets victory.

With their win and the Phillies and Braves’ losses, the Mets passed the Phillies for second place in the NL East and trail the Braves by 1.5 games for first place.

They will attempt to win their first road series of the season tomorrow night, and will try to win back-to-back road games for the first time since July 2009.

The Mets will send Hisanori Takahashi to the mound, opposing Orioles’ left-hander Brian Matusz.

NL East standings (top 3 teams)
Atlanta 35-27
NY Mets 33-28 (1 1/2)
Philadelphia 31-28 (2 1/2)

Series probable pitchers:
June 12
New York: Hisanori Takahashi (2010: 4-2, 3.80 ERA) vs. Baltimore: Brian Matusz (2010: 2-6, 5.10 ERA)
June 13
New York: Mike Pelfrey (2010: 8-1, 2.23 ERA) vs. Baltimore: Kevin Millwood (2010: 0-7, 4.64 ERA)

Upcoming schedule:
New York Mets:
June 12-13 @ Baltimore Orioles
June 15-17 @ Cleveland Indians

Baltimore Orioles:
June 12-13 vs. New York Mets
June 14-16 @ San Francisco Giants

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